Congratulations to Crystal, who won her choice of block print from Little Sparrow's Nest. Thank you to Michaela Dawn for such a great giveaway!
Today, we are featuring something that is near and dear to me. I know I've gushed about this before, but I just LOVE woodworking! I took shop class as a 7th grader, and actually made a cutting board (woo-woo!), a set of salt and pepper shakers, and something that resembled a shelf, but never got hung up. I was pretty good at it, and even made a cute bear toothbrush holder when I was an adult. If I could, I would probably have a little woodshop, where hubby and I could work at it together, but I don't think our apartment managers would let us set up shop.
Anyway, today we are featuring Jeffrey, from Smile Moon on Etsy. Jeffrey is a guy with a great sense of humor, who doesn't mind last minute communications from people like me! He has been woodworking for....well, let me get on with the interview, and you'll find out more about Jeffrey...
TDB: When did you first get into woodworking, and who taught you?
Jeffrey: I first got interested in woodworking about 20 years ago, just before my oldest daughter was born. My record collection (remember LP records?) had outgrown the plywood boxes I'd slapped together when I was a kid, and I thought it'd be nice to build my own stereo cabinet. Of course, before tackling a piece like that, I decided it'd be wise to make a few "practice projects" to learn my way through. Over the next several years, I ventured to make a blanket chest, a cradle, several different artist's easels, kitchen & bathroom cabinets, bookcases, and plenty of smaller crafty things. To this day, however, I still have not made my stereo cabinet.
Most of what I've learned has been through experience (read: mistakes), but I've picked up a fair bit from reading books, watching Norm Abrams on TV, and sometimes taking the advice of a host of more experienced woodworkers along the way. I wish I'd taken high school woodshop classes when I'd had the chance. At least I've still got all 10 fingers!
TDB: I'm curious...how many children DO you have? (If you read Jeffrey's Profile in his Etsy shop, you'll understand why I asked this question.) Do you plan on teaching them woodworking?
Jeffrey: I've got six kids, ranging in age from 5 to 18. [This past summer saw us attending orientations for college and kindergarten in the same week.] They've each got their own pair of safety glasses for when I'm running tools, and they all know they're welcome to join me anytime I'm in the workshop. Some of them show more interest than others, but I rarely turn any of them away if they want to build, say, an airplane from scraps of wood and a few nails (there's a small fleet of planes in there already). I want to make them feel welcome without the pressure of forcing them to learn if they're not up for it.
TDB: What is your best selling item?
Jeffrey: At this point, it's a toss-up between the balancing wine bottle holders and the toy swords. I've only been selling on Etsy for a little more than 6 months now, but I'm definitely noticing that some items have a 'season'.
TDB: If you could teach ANYthing, what would you teach?
Jeffrey: Anything? Probably, I'd like to teach geometry and trigonometry. I'm such a math geek, but I couldn't do my woodworking without at least a basic understanding of it, and so much of what we depend on (computers, transportation) relies very heavily on math-related studies.
TDB: What is the best piece of advice you ever received (any subject)?
Jeffrey: I believe it was my father who told me that everybody's got something to teach you.
TDB: What are three of your life dreams, and have you accomplished any of them?
Jeffrey: This is tricky, because for the most part, I'm a go-with-the-flow kind of person. That said, I always wanted to fly an airship. More realistically though, I've always wanted to marry someone I love and who loves me back, and I'm glad to say I've been able to accomplish that. Beyond that, every day our kids stay healthy and out of trouble is another good one for me!
TDB: Please share three random facts about yourself.
Jeffrey: I dance like a spastic with his arms caught in the ceiling fan. I eat ice cream combinations that make my poor wife ill to think about. I have a unibrow - they're all the rage.
Alright, what little boy (or big boy for that matter!!!) wouldn't LOVE a pair of wooden swords??? Need some great Christmas gifts for some adventurous little boys? What better thing to stimulate a wonderful imagination in this world obsessed with Wii? So here's your chance to win this pair of swords AND one of Jeffrey's wooden puzzles.
Please visit Smile Moon and let us know what your favorite item is, OR let us know your favorite childhood toy that did NOT require batteries, but made for HOURS of fun.
For an extra entry, you can become a "Follower" of The Downtown Boutique blog. Just click on the right where it says "Follow This Blog". Please leave a separate comment to let us know you are now following our blog.
Deadline to enter is Thursday, October 23rd at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide. Please make sure you leave a VALID email address. If there is no visible email address, you will not be entered into the giveaway.
Have a great weekend, and if you get a chance, go rake up a pile of leaves and jump in it, or visit a pumpkin patch, or go pick some apples! Enjoy the Fall weather, no matter what you do. If you're in the southern hemisphere, have a gorgeous Spring day!